Florida’s death penalty fix could soon go to governor

FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2014, file photo, Department of Corrections officials look through a window from the witness room, at right, outside the newly renovated death chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. Even as President Barack Obama tries to make a hard case for sentencing reform, prisoner rehabilitation and confronting racial bias in policing, he has been less clear about the death penalty. Obama has hinted that his support for capital punishment is eroding, but he has refused to discuss what he might call for. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – A bill to fix Florida’s death penalty is almost ready for Gov. Rick Scott’s signature – the second time in two years the state has attempted to fix the law.

The Florida House is scheduled to vote on a bill Friday that would require a unanimous jury vote before the death penalty can be imposed. The Senate unanimously approved the measure Thursday.

It’s a response to court decisions that have left the state’s death penalty law in limbo.

The U.S. Supreme Court in January 2016 declared the state’s death penalty sentencing law unconstitutional because it gave too much power to judges.

Last year, a bill requiring a 10-2 jury vote was enacted. The state Supreme Court struck it down in October, saying a unanimous decision was needed.

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